(Illustration: Mark Gardner)
A regular series wherein we discuss deep topics via instant message.
This week Margit Detweiler and Stacy Morrison discuss their “spendy regrets” on a Friday afternoon at 6pm while multi-tasking.
I just made a foolish purchase today. I absolutely could have found a perfectly fine piece of furniture for about 1/10th of what I paid. But I fell in LOVE with an aged-wood credenza. The masterful handiwork! The crossed-iron base! And I have to say, the love I give to that piece, I will get back for decades. So no regrets.
So that’s not really foolish then? “If it makes you happy…” to quote Ms. Crow. What are the things you will *always* spend money on? Like for me, it’s a comfortable seat with a great view. On a train, a plane, in a theater — anywhere. I will always spend more on a Broadway ticket aisle seat, partly because I’m vaguely claustrophobic, but that’s another story.
It’s really interesting what other people will spend on. But when you start to compare $800 dinner = $800 camera = $800 rug = $800 class or donation that could advance someone’s life, it puts things into perspective.
That’s what brings me back to foolish. Nothing is more luxurious than no debt. I live in fear of being in big debt again. Truth is, if you don’t have three months’ or more emergency reserves, all unnecessary spending is foolish.
There were days in the ’90s when I was selling CDs to eat lunch. Or days in college of donating — not blood — plasma! Students would regularly donate their plasma to make extra cash. Now that’s what I call broke.
For some people, foolish spending cuts into their security or buys them a sense of self. But in my case, I understand that “foolish” spending I do as an expression of exuberance and confidence. Like I said, I am a saver at heart.
You have to be ALL IN. One of the great rewards of being older is that you know yourself so much better: I totally understand the deep, grounding effect that owning amazing furniture has on me. So I spend much less on clothes. It cuts through the money anxiety, to make those choices in a clear way.
For me it’s not about taking it, or remembering it. It’s about HAVING it LOVING it LIVING it and taking the full pleasure out of a choice you made, a leap you took.
Yes. And this time, I will have defined boundaries and goals going in, so coming out won’t be so hard. Wisdom. It’s worth its weight in gold. Maybe not its weight in wrinkles, but that’s another story.
Stacy Morrison is now offline.
You left the chat by logging out or being disconnected.